On the twelfth day of fitness, my true love…
What is one of the best gifts that your true love could give to you? The gift of commitment to health! And it’s the best gift you could give to your true love, your family and your friends. Don’t we all want our loved ones to be healthy? Don’t we also want to be healthy enough personally to enjoy being with our loved ones? This Christmas season, talk with your true love and the rest of your loved ones about making a commitment to fitness as a team—don’t wait until January 1, instead commit in December to start with at least 12 days of fitness, which can turn into twelve weeks of fitness, which can turn into a habit of fitness that lasts throughout the year and your entire lifetime!
- On the 1st day of fitness, walk one mile, or more or less, just get walking—don’t be a partridge just sitting in a pear tree!
- On the 2nd day of fitness, do 2 sets of abdominal crunches. Walk one mile—try to get your ‘turtle dove’ (true love) to do it with you!
- On the 3rd day of fitness, do 3 minutes of a cardio mix (hi or low impact)-jumping jacks, jogging, and knee lifts, 2 sets of abs and then walk one mile. You can speak in French while you are doing it, if you like, even though you are not a hen.
- On the 4th day of fitness, do 4 minutes of squats and lunges, alternating, 3 minute cardio mix, 2 sets of abs and walk one mile. Feel free to call out like a bird while you are doing it if you wish.
- On the 5th day of fitness, jog or walk around the room making the shape of five golden rings, 4 minutes of squats, etc.
- On the 6th day of fitness, do 3 sets of bicep curls, jog the 5 golden rings, etc.
- On the 7th day of Christmas, add different versions of pushups in sevens—full pushups, knee pushups, wall pushups—no sitting this out pretending that you are a goose laying an egg.
- On the 8th day of fitness, add supermans (lying on your stomach with arms and legs straight out, lift arms and legs off the flour, counting 8 to hold, then release; do at least 8 reps, etc. You can pretend you are lying in a barn watching the maids do the milking if you like.
- On the 9th day of fitness, be a dancing lady or gentleman, count to nine, nine times as you do a few dance steps that come to mind—rock and roll is quite fine, along with Salsa, or the peppermint twist, (a good choice at Christmas time). Have fun! Then continue, back strengthening, pushups etc.
- On the 10th day of fitness, power walk in place, (or feel free to do some leaping!) Repeat for at least three sets, then dance etc.
- On the 11th day of fitness, add several stretches counting 11 then move on to the next exercise. Feel free to pick up your pipe and play it while you are stretching, then move on to the power walk, dancing etc.
- On the 12th day of fitness, power walk in place and do 12 different arm movements to warm up the upper body (do not use weights), then do the exercises from all the rest of the days of fitness. Don’t forget to play the drums as one of your arm movements! This song will never be the same for you now!
After you have built up to all twelve days of fitness, repeat during the month of December for as many days as you can, then when January 1st comes, you will already be in shape and can keep going for a lifetime of health and fitness, blazing the way for all of your loved ones, inspiring them to choose fitness, too!
President Emeritus, Body and Soul Fitness
Note – You can find examples of all these exercises and more on the American Council on Exercise website – www.acefitness.org